It always pains me to pick up on the blog after a long absence, but alas, I know I must! What in the world have Rebecca and I been doing? I know that is the question on everyone’s mind. Well, we continue to run this little bulb business called Southern Bulb. I know so many people think about fall when they think about bulbs. Thinking this is good, because it is a great time to plant so many bulbs, but as far as blooming bulbs and bulb hunting activity, very little is going on. Rebecca and I really have just been working late into the evening at the barn to get orders out the door. However, we have squeezed some wonderful trips in, and one of those was a talk a few weeks ago to the Concho Valley Master Gardeners in San Angelo!
Right before we hopped in the truck to drive to San Angelo, Rebecca snapped some shots of our oxblood lilies blooming in rows on the farm. We knew to be on the lookout for these treasures as we made the drive across Texas. Pictures taken and bags loaded, we began the trip.
An interesting fact about San Angelo—it is the “largest city that is not connected by a 4-lane road to the interstate system.” I can’t find anything that officially states this, but then again I didn’t look all that hard. Even if it doesn’t have an interstate, it has some of the nicest people, an amazing Master Gardener group, world famous water lily gardens, and some amazing wildflowers along the way.
I’ll start with one of the wildflowers we saw, because it’s actually a native bulb! Liatris could be seen blooming all over the road sides. Nothing is more fall native Central Texas than the native Liatris blooming among the fruiting cactus known as Texas pricklypear (Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri) I have a moment of honesty here in that I have a hard time distinguishing between the NUMEROUS types of native Texas Liatris, but I believe this one to be Liatris mucronata. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has lots of information if you care to read more on natives.
Poor Rebecca…typcial scene with the truck on the side of the road and Rebecca waiting while I take photos.
A quick tangent…a couple weeks ago I also found the most amazing white native Liatris blooming in a hilly region of Northeast Texas scattered among pine trees and random oaks. The American beautyberries (Callicarpa americana) were in full bloom as well. If the cacti and Liatris signal fall in Central Texas, the beautyberries and white Liatris signal fall in East Texas. Of course, the oxblood lilies signal fall all across the state, and I’ll mention those down below.
We had the greatest hosts in San Angelo Ron and Nancy who took us to dinner with the Agrilife Extension Agent Allison Watkins and allowed us to stay at their home. What an amazing garden Ron had, but that is another blog post in itself! Ron did take us by their world famous water lily gardens–what a show!
I spoke the next day and couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful group to present to. San Angelo was facing a Stage 3 water restriction, which meant no watering of lawns, golf courses, etc. They were treating it with the utmost concern, but still found a way to remain hopeful for the future. I was glad I was speaking about bulbs—most of which require no supplemental water to bloom and thrive.
The talk went well, we sold bulbs, and eventually had to return home. On the way home, we took a few side streets and found an amazing site of oxblood lilies (Rhodophiala bifida) surrounding an abandoned old home. We thought you might enjoy the photos!